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Ben Kono: Crossing

img  Tobias Fischer

Nu-jazz, purportedly Asian influenced owing to multi-instrumentalist Kono’s Japanese heritage, however my immediate overall impression was of a fairly straightforward Western blend.

“Castles and Daffodils” opens the record to rambling effect; originally a paean to a downcast Stanley Kunitz poem, the originally effect was scrapped and re-engineered as an upbeat, light bit of proggy puttering with Zawinul influences all over it. This arguably obligato achievement accomplished, we move to the goods, traditional bop sax on “Common Ground”; Weather Channel background cooking on “Rice.” Lots of Mingus threatening as with any newschooler, but it never rushes the gates; infinitely inspiring coffee-time stuff here.

Unless I’m nuts, I’m starting to see the names of these New York session guys more and more on jewel cases, for instance Pete McCann, whose John McLaughlin depth complements Henry Hey’s keyboards, in particularly the – you should know by now I’m a sucker for the sound – Fender Rhodes.

By Eric Saeger

Homepage: Ben Kono
Homepage: Nineteen Eight Records

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